Disclaimer: I don't own the characters of this story, they all belong to CLAMP.

Warning: Alcohol can give you a very hard time, so don't drink too much.

Karija: Yeah, the fic is already finished in German. You can find it on http : / / www. fanfiktion. de /s /4cfd025400002ce00661d0d8 (remove the spaces)

Chapter 3: Below Threshold (I)

~Baby, you've got the sort of hands

To rip me apart

And baby, you've got the sort of face

To start this old heart

Ingrid Michaelson, "Sort Of"

Sequence of Events (continued):

Fai had spent the time on chatting, but he never departed too far away from the table with the hot alcoholic drinks. Punch and spiced wine and hot chocolate with rum...

He tried not to drink too much. He could hold his liquor but the alcohol in his system made it harder for him to pretend that everything was okay. To watch the children how they danced close (in their own shy manner) or in ring-a-ring-a-roses did help a little bit but not much.

He just wondered how much Kurogane had to despise him when he used something so innocent as kissing as an act of revenge? Fai had made sure that no emotions got involved in his first kiss with the black-haired man. This was the best, the safest for their friendship. And he had teased Kurogane for the sole purpose, that the man hereafter took better care when they were close to a mistletoe. For he knew that if he ever got the chance of kissing Kurogane – a real kiss, just one – he would surely never stop. Would never want to be separated from these lips.

Well, it was unnecessary to worry about that any further. Because at the moment, Fai had no intention to even get close to this aggressive lips. He had felt so humiliated... as if Kuro-tan knew about his affection and the kiss was his way to make fun of it. Fai didn't want this pretended passion and the forced intimacy.

He wanted security. And sincerity.

To him, Kurogane had embodied all these abilities, so what had happened? What had caused the sudden change?

A screech ripped Fai out of his thoughts and he saw a helplessly fidgeting Watanuki, who was dragged to the dance floor by a very pixilated chairman.

"Yuuko-sensei? How many glasses of eggnog did you already have?", the teenager asked; his face mirrored pure horror. Yuuko-sensei just laughed.

Fai stared into his own glass of invitingly scenting spiced wine. If he didn't drink it soon, the alcohol would volatilize... oh, sordid vapour pressure. It was only his second glass, but he was already a little bit dizzy. Hm. The reasons for this sensation could also be the four glasses of eggnog he had before. As much as he liked this sweet swill, one had to drink it with whipped cream (or else the taste was just not the same) and if he ran fat just because he suffered from heartache, well that was a bit... cliché.

We sum it up: 6 glasses of alcohol. Different kinds of alcohol. On an almost empty stomach; for the blond hadn't eat anything since dinner. So much for 'not drinking too much'.

But Fai was still able to stand straight. Regardless, he chose to sit on one benches of the audience grandstand. Not that he suddenly toppled, according to a, um... gravity dysfunction. Fai was happy to have his little glass; it was warm and he had something to hold on. Something that he could stare in and that provided the excuse for not looking up as Kurogane returned to the gym. No, he wouldn't look at him, this insensitive and - to Fai's regret - way too attractive, demeaning chump. And he didn't have to – all alone on the grandstand he could be spotted out easily. So, the black-haired man saw him immediately and to top it all he even dared to sit right next to him. Fai could feel the cold emitted by the taller one.

"Smoking break?", he asked. The blond's voice wavered a bit but not enough to hide the sharpness of his words.

"Took a walk", the other one replied, ignoring the animosity. He didn't smoke, as Fai knew very well.

"I see."

With this, the argument died down. The two teachers tried their best not to look at each other but only one of them was indeed able to. The one without guilt. And while Kurogane flashed clandestine glances at Fai, he realized that the usually pale cheeks were tainted with a dark pink. And the blond hadn't been out on the cold unlike him. Great. Now he was driving this idiot into alcoholism.

"Hey!", the black-haired man murmured. A rueful try to initiate a new conversation, but he got no response. He grabbed Fai' wrist. The older one flinched and then stared at his colleague.

"What?" Dismissively.

"I never meant to hurt you or scare you away."

"You didn't." The blond almost hissed and broke eye contact.

"Well, you ran away quite fast for a man who was not scared."

"So what was I supposed to do, huh? Thank you for the informative experience?" This bitchy, aggressive behaviour was not like the chemistry teacher at all. Fai was more the kind of person who kept his problems locked up until they started to eat him up from inside. He had to be quite boozed to act like a cornered kitten.

"Slap me", Kurogane offered. Fai blinked, as if the other one had said "kill me". Then he shook his head. "There's no need to."

The Japanese man had enough of this game. He took the idiot's wine away and put the glass aside, not caring for Fai's complaints. Then he stood up and dragged the smaller one with him. He cleaved among the dancing students and away from the buzz, away from the gym.

"Stop!", Fai whined, while he followed the taller one, stumbling. Why had Kuro-puu so much control of his body; the man had drunk far more than he had... "What are you up to?"

But Kurogane didn't stop until they finally arrived in a deserted corridor. No students, no eye-witnesses, no damn mistletoes.

"Okay, this place is fine. Now, come on."

"And what exactly am I supposed to do here?", Fai asked but he perceived the answer.

"Hit me."

So, Kurogane's offer to cuff his ears had been dead serious. "Kuro-pii, I won't hurt you, just so you can feel better."

"You know how freaking absurd that sounds, do you?"

"So what?"

The black-haired man growled. "Listen, I screwed up, okay? You can take this like a man and slap me [1]. Or you keep on acting like a bitch; it's your decision. But if I have to endure this icy silence for the rest of the evening, you can consider our friendship as over."


This choice was no choice, after all. Either he had to hurt Kurogane – or he had to say: "so long, friendship." It was unfair. So unfair. The gym teacher knew very well, how much Fai despised being alone or being left. How dare he to use this as a bargaining chip? This made Fai so angry, that he clenched his hands... and actually striked out.

Kurogane prepared himself internally but still didn't see it coming.

Fai was fast.

The smack of skin on skin echoed in the empty hallway and the tall one almost tumbled back a few steps, on the face of the impact. There was a burning sensation on his skin.

But the one who was even more shocked, was the one who had struck the first blow.

The blond covered his mouth with his (throbbing) hand. "Oh my... I'm sorry, I didn't want to hit so hard... but you threatened... how can you want to end our friendship? Oh, Kuro-tan, I'm so sorry!"

"Stop apologizing!", the younger one grumbled and rubbed his cheek. "I asked for it."

Still, the blond idiot was close to tears.

"Does it hurt much? God, Kuro-rin, what are you doing this for? Can't we just forget the whole thing?"

"That was all I ever wanted." He could handle the pain, it would disappear. But god only knew how long the chemistry teacher could be mad at him. However… although he had achieved his aim, he found it hard to be glad about it. Victory had a bitter aftertaste. "Let's go home", he heard himself murmur.

"But I don't want to go just yet", Fai grouched.

Two shadows were approaching from the darkness.

"Fuck it, haven't you drunk enough for today?"

They were sneaking up, unnoticed.

"Don't be such a killjoy, Kuro-sama!"

"MISTLETOE!", two squeaky voices suddenly cried out in unison. The white Mokona, Soel, was armed with a camera and was ready to take a snapshot. The black one, Larg, was standing right next to her, holding a fishing pole with a mistletoe tied to its hook. And now guess above whose heads the plant was dangling.

"Hey! What the hell do you think you're doing?", Kurogane yelled at the students aka school mascots. As if it wasn't bad enough that one had to pay attention for this damn green kissing pest plant when one was walking through the door; no, now there was a mobile mistletoe service to top it all.

"Yuuko-sensei told us to take a mistletoe picture of you two", the white Mokona giggled.

Fai looked at Kurogane. Once again, there was a nerve twitching above his eyebrow. As the blonde saw that, he couldn't help but to giggle. Seriously... what do we have to lose? It can't be worse than the first two tries. "Mokona?"

"Yes?", they replied.

"Does it have to be a kiss on the lips."

The dumpling-shaped creatures looked at each other. "Well, she never said a word about the kind of kiss... Yuuko-sensei just said it hat to look 'damn hot'."

"This sick, perverted witch..." Kurogane cursed and clenched his fist. "If I'll ever get her stupid, evil-plotting head in my fingers..." He left the rest of the threat unvoiced.

"So, this sounds like a peck on the lips, right Larg?", Soul murmured.

Fai raised his fingers and looked at the Mokonas in a scholarly manner. "Actually, that's not correct. Sometimes, a kiss can mean so much more if it's not given on the lips. And we shall not forget to keep Kuro-myuu-seinseis integrity. One does not play with sensitive hearts."

That's pretty much from a guy who has given an absolutely meaningless kiss not an hour ago. Kurogane looked at the blond suspiciously. He believed to understand that the annoying guy was afraid to provoke a negative reaction again.

That he would tread on his friend's toes again.

The fear was ill-founded. For the alcohol was beginning to take effect and although this little chemical compound didn't effect his perception and movements, it was lowering his inhibition threshold. The drug made all his concerns seem less important. So, his mimic didn't change as Fai turned to him, grinning apologetically.

"It's not even important where you get touched, but how." The chemistry teacher pretended to keep talking to the Mokonas but his glance was resting on his colleague's cheek. "It's not even the kiss itself that has a meaning but the little gestures that accompany it. The pace with which one proceeds."

Another step to close the distance. Slowly, Fai was reaching out his hand for his friend, pressing it tenderly against the cheek, to which he had caused pain earlier. His thumb was caressing the tanned skin and he gave Kurogane a warm smile.

"Do I rush everything, leaving the other one irritated? Or do I take my time and therefore demonstrate respect, that he (or she) deserves and give him the possibility to flee from the situation?"

Mokona had started to simply push the trigger to capture to scene picture by picture. A flurry of camera flashes enlightened the scene but the men were too captured by their own moment to even care about it.

"Do I hesitate?"

As the words left Fai's mouth, Kurogane realized that it wasn't a show or a lesson anymore. The blond seemed to aim his words directly at him. He seemed to speak for him. Because Kurogane was hesitating.

He knew that he was supposed to accommodate Fai, but he couldn't bring himself to touch his colleague, his friend, his secret love. Fai used to be inscrutable or unreachable to him. The chemistry teacher was kind to everyone, yet he avoided deeper bonds with anyone. He was jolliest when he was with his students, because age and experience were already creating a distance in this situation; so he wouldn't get involved too much with them.

"And when I hesitate... why? Am I torn between what might be and what will be destroyed? But still, I'm seeking to get closer..."

Kurogane merely noticed that the blond was standing on his tiptoes, nor that he was leaning down. Just when their noses almost touched, when he could feel the warm breath of the other one on his skin, he realized that there were separated by just a few millimetres. And their own worries.

But the barrier was only in their heads. And it was getting meaningless in the face of the allure to breathe in the other one's scent. To feel closeness.


Kurogane gulps. And he knows what he wants and suddenly he understands that this may be his only chance to experience Fai unaltered.

It's about time.

He's placing his hand at the blond's neck; his fingers are buried in soft strands of honey-cloured hair, as he pulls Fai into the kiss. For the first time Kurogane is able to explore the feeling of kissing Fai and get to know this body, that should be his own, anyway. As long as this little moments lasts, he can have everything; can taste the lips, whose words he's hearing everyday and whose smile is haunting him even in his dreams.

Kurogane doesn't know how long it takes but it's not nearly long enough to satisfy the hunger within. And as Fai is slowly drawing back, the taller one almost voiced his disappointment.


Although both of then knew that is was over, they didn't want to break contact entirely.

Their hands just stayed where they were.

Kurogane was resting his forehead on Fai's. Silent and harmonious.

… until the white Mokona started to squeal.

"Puu~! This was the best kiss we've seen so far. What do you think?" She poked her friend. Larg was speechless.

As their job was done, the fluff balls hopped away in search for new victims.

"They're gone", Kurogane murmured, his voice rough as if he hadn't used it for some time.

"So is the mistletoe", Fai added, with a whiff of disappointment.

"Yeah. This one."

The chemistry teacher hardly trusted his ears, but he could definitely hear an invitation in those words. I must've gone crazy!

He took one step back to take a better look in the other one's eyes. Buried his hands in his pockets, so it was easier to keep them by himself. An impish grin swirled about the corners of Kurogane's mouth and Fai, spellbound by the sight, whispered: "And we should take care. Not to let it happen again". But none of them really had the intention to.

"Now that would be a shame."

Both set into motion the same time, like they were following a silent command, rushing forward to the next threshold.

Two addicts, who have found an excuse for giving into their addiction. Who have found the possibility to go for another shot of endorphins; to make the euphoria last a little bit longer. So they sneaked from mistletoe to mistletoe, from kiss to kiss.

But still, it never seemed to be enough.

The play of their tongues got more passionate, claiming, hungrier.

During the chairman's Christmas Party the music room served as a checkroom. It was close to the entrance hall and as the teachers finally arrived there, they were in quite a rush, more stumbling than walking.

Of course, they didn't waste much of their (kissing) time in the room, it was a necessary stopover. And when Fai was struggling with his scarf just a little bit too long, the black-haired man took his hand to push him along.

[1] For this is such a manly thing to do. O.O I know it's kinda funny that Kurogane says "Or you can keep on acting like a bitch…" since a slap in the face is also called a Bitch Slap. BTW, there should be a better word in English for "Ohrfeige" than "a slap in the face" (…earfig? XD). Feel free to make one up. But seriously, just ignore my mocking. I'm the kind of person who is waiting for a fat lady to appear when someone says "It's only over when the fat lady sings".

I split chapter 3 in a half because it was rather long and it takes me way too long to translate this stuff. I didn't want to keep you waiting for that long. I also chose to give it a completely new title, because the pun in the German title didn't work out in English. (The original title was "Grenzfall" which can be translated as "borderline case" (Crime reference) but it can also mean that the walls are coming down... well, the metaphorical walls. Basically, what's happening in chapter 3 is that they finally cross the line.

And hey, stupid Leia made a mistake and nobody noticed it. I really intendet to settle this story into a time before Yuui and Syaoron came to Horitsuba but for some awkward reason there is a kiss between the Li-twins mentioned in ch. 1. Ooops.

So, maybe Syaoron is already at the school (but that would mean that this story and "December Baby: Yuui and the Boy" don't quite match. They can't be in the same Universe!

Erm... blame Fringe. Or Stargate Atlantis. Really, I bet Rodney McKay is somewhere in the background of this story, asking if there is citrus in the food. XD Nah, I have to find a way to delete Syaoron, but imagine that twin kiss whenever you want! ^^